Fantasy playoffs are now no doubt here, so it's winner take all for all the marbles, all the cash and all of the pride. You've got one shot left to make a statement; to prove yourself, so you'd best take it. Even though my successes this season were limited, I'll take psychic pride in knowing someone else did really well with my help.
Who to Start:
QB Russell Wilson (SEA) vs. CLE: I would put Carson Palmer here, but I thought that would be too obvious. Is there a QB hotter in the league right now than Wilson? He's been dialed in, not making mistakes, and now gets to face the Browns secondary without Joe Haden. Must-start (other starts: Carson Palmer, Matt Stafford (MON), Philip Rivers)
RB David Johnson (ARZ) vs. PHI: With all of the injuries and shuffling in the Cardinals backfield, Johnson has come out on top, and has taken advantage of his new-found focus in the Cardinals offense. The Eagles defense has been pretty terrible of late, so Johnson could end up becoming a fantasy playoffs hero (other starts: DeAngelo Williams, Lamar Miller, Chris Ivory (SAT))
WR DeAndre Hopkins (HOU) vs. IND: It's a large unknown right now as to who will be tossing him the rock on Sunday in Indianapolis. Yes, that does affect his fantasy status. But it's hard to bench him anyway, especially against a Colts team that just gave up 51 (!!!!!!!!!!) to Jacksonville.
WR Sammy Watkins (BUF) vs. WSH: Watkins has been consistent this season when Tyrod Taylor is throwing him the ball, and that should continue this Sunday in Washington against a secondary that is starting to get quite banged up (other starts: John Brown, Danny Amendola, Jeremy Maclin)
TE Gary Barnidge (CLE) vs. SEA: The matchup against the Seahawks is actually quite favorable for Tight Ends, much to the surprise of many. With Johnny Football under center, Barnidge has actually seen his targets and catches go up, so he could be in for a sneaky good day on Sunday (other starts: Richard Rodgers, Ben Watson (MON), Eric Ebron (MNF))
DEF Kansas City vs. BAL: Does anyone know who the Ravens have on offense anymore? Neither do I (other starts: SEA, NE, CIN)
Who to Sit:
QB Eli Manning (NYG) vs. CAR: The rollercoaster season had another up on Monday night against Miami, but Carolina's defense is an entirely different animal. Josh Norman, that pass rush, and Eli's general inconsistency make it hard to push for him to start (other sits: Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Jameis Winston (THU))
RB DeMarco Murray (PHI) vs. ARZ: All that money for a fourth string job in the crowded Eagles backfield. Us owners of Murray's should have seen the forest through the trees, but we were blind. To make matters even worse, the matchup against Arizona is ugly too (other sits: Darren McFadden, Javorius Allen, Ronnie Hillman)
WR Dez Bryant (DAL) vs. NYJ SAT: Since Matt Cassel has returned to the Dallas hot seat, Dez's production has fallen off a cliff. And with the Jets still posing a stiff defense on the other side, it's hard to start him in any circumstances considering the fantasy playoffs are all or nothing.
WR Randall Cobb (GB) vs. OAK: It's been a rough ride for Cobb recently in fantasy-land, and last week even though not amazing was his best performance in quite some time. The Raiders defense is better than you'd expect, so Cobb is another mark in the sit column this week (other sits: Mike Evans (THU), Brandin Cooks (MON), Amari Cooper)
TE Delanie Walker (TEN) vs. NE: A permanent fixture in the "start" portion of this column recently, he's found himself here this week. Why? The Pats take away your best playmaker consistently, and the Titans in lack of others... you know the drill (other sits: Travis Kelce, Jason Witten, Kyle Rudolph)
DEF Minnesota vs. CHI: The Vikings defense has struggled in recent weeks thanks to all of their injuries, and even though Chicago can usually be quite a favorable matchup, it's still a risky play considering the circumstances this week (other sits: PHI, BAL, DET)
Three Super Sleepers:
QB Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. JAX: Yes, he's been incredibly awful of late. Yes, the Falcons are in a tailspin. But Ryan is going up against a Jacksonville defense that is inconsistent at best. They were dominant a week ago but gave up 31 points to a Chargers team that has since scored 6, and then gave up 42 to the Titans who have since scored 8.
RB Bilal Powell (NYJ) vs. DAL SAT: The only holdup in playing Powell has to be the rotation in the backfield with Chris Ivory. Powell was potent against the Titans last Sunday, so this week it could be an iffy start, but against a Dallas defense that gave up nearly 250 rushing yards to Green Bay, Powell will probably be fine.
WR T.Y Hilton (IND) vs. HOU: The QB question is a large one here too, just like with DeAndre Hopkins on the other side, but with the Texans defense being as poor as it is, it's hard to bench Hilton all things considered, even if Charlie Whitehurst starts.
WR Odell Beckham (NYG) vs. CAR: You can't sit ODB, you just can't. I know, but it's Josh Norman, he shuts down everybody in his path. The only one he didn't shut down was Hopkins because the Texans chucked it to him at every opportunity. This is a tough call obviously, but as the title says, buyer beware.
Good Luck in Week 15 and in the Playoffs!
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